THE region’s coalmining heritage will be brought to life in a musical starring children and young people living in former coalbelt communities.

The Wind Road Boys, inspired by real events, is set in a fictional south Durham town and tells the story of the industry through the eyes of a child made to work in the mines.

Produced by Enter CIC, in Ferryhill, the musical will feature about 160 children from in and around the town, as well as well-known actors.

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Enter CIC director Andrea Flynn said the show will have West End production values, calling upon professionals from the industry.

She said: “The basic story is about a guy who has been left some land, in a will, from a long-lost relative he does not know, but we have collected stories from people who live in towns and mining villages to go in, too.

“The stories are fantastic and one of the children has been talking to their granddad, who won the George Cross following a mining disaster, which we are going to integrate into the plot.”

Enter CIC aims to offer children in disadvantaged areas arts provision usually only found in larger towns or cities.

The organisation aims to boost young people’s confidence, improve their skills and reduce anti-social behaviour.

Rehearsals are about to begin, but Mrs Flynn said it was not too late for young people to get involved, regardless of their acting or singing ability.

She said: “We are trying to get as many young people from as many mining communities involved as possible and we try to do it at little or no cost to them.”

Enter CIC is funded the Big Lottery Fund. The musical, which will be performed at the Sunderland Empire, has additional funding from the Hadrian Trust.

Tickets for the August 7 performance are £15.50 for adults and £11.50 for children, available on 0844-8713022.

To become involved in the production, visit entercic.org or call 01740-655437.